Laura Patterson, the University’s chief information officer and associate vice president for Information and Technology Services, announced her retirement Thursday after 23 years of working for the University.
In an e-mail to Information and Technology Services staff members, Patterson wrote, “As we complete the implementation of NextGen Michigan and work begins in earnest on the goals and initiatives outlined in the new IT strategic plan, I believe it is the perfect time to pass the torch to a new leader.”
Patterson was responsible for multiple initiatives aiming to leverage information technology across the University’s three campuses and health system, including NextGen Michigan — a strategy focused on implementing new technology at the University, encompassing projects such as the University’s ongoing switch to Canvas and implementation of MiWorkspace. She also began a push for IT rationalization, which aims to consolidate IT services across the University to reduce costs and build infrastructure in preperation for NextGen Michigan.
In a 2012 press release, Patterson estimated the timeline for both projects to end around 2015 and said the goal was to move the University’s technology forward.
“Research universities are big complex places and the technology of the past decade has been a technology of the personal computer and networking, and that has enabled a disbursement of technology across the research communities,” she said at the time. “So the idea here is that while we need technology at the edge, many technologies have become commodity services. Things that were 10, 15 years ago cutting edge or creative are now offered as commodity IT, you can get it from a vendor. We have moved beyond the local area network as the innovation platform, because we are now in the age of consumerism, mobility, social networking, personal devices. We are moving to what you might think of as the global network and how people interact with that.”
According to the e-mail, Patterson will not officially step down until this summer, and wrote in the e-mail that she will work with University President Mark Schlissel in the meantime to recruit the next CIO.
Patterson was not reachable for immediate comment Thursday.